C2.2 – CPE exam practice – Use of English (part 3) (3)

Number three in an ongoing series of posts to practise the one word fits three sentences activity in the CPE.

I’ll put more than three examples so you can see how the featured word(s) are used in more contexts.  Remember, in the exam, there are only three sentences.

Tip:  Try to contextualise each sentence by thinking of the type of text it comes from.  This might help generate words associated with the context/genre.

Language notes to come.

For the sentences below think of one word only which can be used appropriately in all three sentences.

  1. The next step is to gradually _______ in the sugar to the mix.  Then, add the rest of the flour and milk.
  2. I _______ my brains out for ages trying to finish the essay.
  3. With a bit of creative accountancy, there are plenty of ways to _______ the system.
  4. The fight spilled out of the nightclub into the street but the two gangs ______ a hasty retreat when the police riot van arrived on the scene.
  5. Andre obviously didn’t want to talk about what had happened and ______ about the bush for a few minutes before making his excuses and leaving the room.
  6. If you’re looking for an exciting new way to exercise, you can’t ______ ‘Spinning’ – it’s the perfect cardio-vascular workout.
  7. The auction was a tense affair but in the end the secret telephone bidder _______ off the competition to secure the painting.
  8. The sun _______ down on the players and they had to take drinks as often as pauses in play would allow.

1 Comment

Filed under C2.2 - Vocabulary

One response to “C2.2 – CPE exam practice – Use of English (part 3) (3)

  1. Answer time. The key word here was the verb ‘beat.’
    (1) (infinitive) cooking verb – to mix (in) an ingredient using a spoon or whisk.
    (2) (idiomatic expression) to beat your brains out (trying to do something) – think very hard about something difficult
    (3) (collocation) ‘beat the system’
    (4) (collocation) – beat (a hasty) retreat – run away from danger or an unpleasant situation
    (5) (idiomatic expression) – ‘beat about / around the bush’ – avoid talking about something important
    (6) (verb pattern: ‘you can’t beat + verb+ing’ – ‘there’s nothing better than.’ Works in a similar way to the fixed expression/saying: ‘If you can’t beat them (’em), join them (’em)’ which is used when you want to admit that you can’t do something as well as someone else without doing it the same way as them (even though you don’t approve of how they do it!)
    (7) (phrasal verb) beat off = win. Beat off a challenge, “Luckily, she was able to beat the thieves off” (when attacked), “…the company beat off the competition and won the contract.”
    (8) (verb for the sun) “the sun beat down” – shone hot.

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